Summary: The Battle is a physical theatre play, involving no text (except a scream). It should be performed to music – several songs can be chosen for each scene. It is about the spiritual battle that occurred in the heavenly realms when Jesus gave his life for our sins at Calvary. The play begins in the ‘ordinary’ world and eventually morphs into the supernatural world. Keywords: Peer pressure, gangs, conforming, drugs, sin.
Style: Dramatic. Duration: 10min.
Actors: 3M,4F, 5M/F
Gang Members (GM) – 2 or more
Mask Characters (MC) – 4 ideally
CS = Centre Stage
SL = Stage Left
SR = Stage Right
PS = Prompt Side
US = upstage
DS = downstage
SCENE 1 – HOME
1. Girl playing Xbox game at home
2. Jesus knocks at door, girl opens and they greet each other with a friendly hug
(N.B. Jesus is to be dressed in ordinary clothes (jeans & a T-shirt), as he is only revealed as 'Jesus’ later on.)
3. Jesus joins in the Xbox game and he wins. Girl pouts about it and Jesus copies her (in fun). They decide they should do something else. Both exit.
SCENE 2 – SHOPPING MALL
1. Girl & Jesus exit SR and re-enter with armfuls of shopping bags, showing each other their purchases. They do not notice the gang enter SL.
2. Gang enters, ring leader (RL) stops them when she spots girl. They look her up and down disapprovingly.
3. RL approaches girl, ignores Jesus completely (N.B. he is not visible to them), gives her another look, then shakes her head in false pity to the gang and pulls the girl by the arm over to the group. They huddle around her.
4. Gang member (GM) #1 picks at girl’s clothes and rolls eyes at the others. GM #2 touches girl’s hair and wipes her hand in disgust (ie, greasy hair). RL has an idea: she pulls out a lipstick and shows others. They all nod and swamp girl (do her hair and make-up, fix her clothes etc).
5. Gang finish and reveal girl with a new look: very cool. They fuss over her and GM #3 gives her a compact mirror. Girl looks at herself in the mirror hesitantly and begins to like what she sees. Jesus leaves unnoticed.
6. RL grabs girl’s shopping bags and starts pulling out pieces of clothing with a look of pity and disapproval. She shakes head and gestures to GM #2 to follow her.
7. RL and GM #2 go SL to shop. GM #2 keeps watch while RL discreetly steals something. They exit shop and walk in front of girl. RL makes eye contact with girl and nods at her (as if to say “That’s how it’s done, honey”). They stand around girl and pressure her to steal something. She refuses, so RL steps in closer and raises eyebrows (as if to say, “Are you going to do it or are you wasting my time?”) Girl holds her ground nervously. Realising the girl will not conform, RL drops hand and turns away (“Thought so, she is a waste of time – let’s go.”). Gang follow and huddle FSR and smoke cigarettes, ignoring girl who is now left alone CS.
8. Girl pauses nervously, then hurries into the shop, steals something, then storms back to the group and throws the item at RL’s feet (as if to say, “See I’ve done it, are you satisfied?”). Girl then steps away from them, folding arms and shaking head at herself in regret. RL picks up item, looks at it, looks at girl, smiles, then puts her arm around girl’s neck (she’s back in the gang). The gang follow and fuss over her again. They walk together to RS.
SCENE 3 – BOYFRIEND
1. Boy enters LS, strutting his stuff. He is well-accustomed to getting attention from women. Slowly he pivots around to face the back wall, where he dons the mask and turns to face front again. Very slowly he moves his head to see the girls. After a moment he pivots again to take off the mask. He resumes the rest of the scene in character.
2. Gang spots him and swoons. Boy struts CS and gang try to persuade girl to approach him. She refuses, so gang push her toward him. He sees her, and it’s too late for her to go back. (Gang leaves)
3. Boy walks around (behind) girl, looking her up and down. She is shy and looks away. Boy brushes her hair out of her face and she looks at him. He puts his arm around her neck and struts offstage (PS) with her.
4. Girl rushes CS, in tears. Jesus enters RS, hearing her cry. Girl sees Jesus approaching and tries to hide her tears. She is embarrassed to be seen like this after abandoning him for new friends. He goes to help but she turns away. He wants to help but she won’t let him, so he leaves LS.
5. Boy enters slowly, he has wronged her but not genuinely sorry. He puts his hand on her shoulder as a forced gesture of comfort, but she shrugs it off. In annoyance, boy comes around to face her, grips her arms, and holds her face up to him. (He is in control, she is helpless) They look at each other, he wipes the tears from her face. Slowly she caves in and rests her head on his shoulder, eyes closed. He rests his chin on her head.
6. In sudden realization that she has caved in to him, girl opens eyes and pushes boy away from her, in protest. Boy looks angrily at her (a face she knows well) and starts to move toward her (as if to hurt her). Girl is scared and turns to run but boy grips her arm and swings her around. Mid-swing the girl slaps him in the face (in self-defence.. then fear at what she has done). He grips her arm tighter and she cowers low. He pushes her across the floor and she falls hard on the ground. (Pause) As she slowly lifts her head, boy marches over and slaps her on the face. She stays on the floor. He pauses over her helpless body and slowly walks offstage (PS).
7. Gang enters RS to find girl collapsed on floor. They rush over to her and help her up to her feet. Girl bravely shrugs off the incident. RL has an idea to cheer her up: they exit together.
SCENE 4 – PARTY
1. Lights up to a nightclub scene, the gang has just arrived and are dancing to the music. Drug Dealer is loitering USR, discreetly looking for a customer. GM #2 pulls a pill out of her pocket and shows gang, then takes the pill, dancing away and getting high. Girl asks RL what she has taken, and RL points to Drug Dealer, as if to say, “go on, you can have a good time too”. Girl wonders whether she should approach him. She feels uncool and isolated again.
2. Without being noticed, girl slips away from the gang and nervously makes eye contact with Drug Dealer, who coolly makes his way over to her direction. He subtly shows her a pill and she nods nervously. Drug Dealer slips her the pill and she steps away DSR.
3. With pill in hand, girl has a moment of decision, while Drug Dealer watches to see if she will take the pill. On stage the girl takes moment of stillness while the others around her move (to draw attention to her). Eventually she takes pill and starts to dance a bit.
4. After seeing her take the pill, Drug Dealer pivots (in the same way as guy in Scene 3) to face the back, dons the mask and pivots to face the front. No-one sees this happen. A moment of girl dancing and getting high while the ‘masked man’ looks on. Her state of ‘ecstasy’ becomes dizziness and hallucination.
5. RL also dons the mask (in the same way) and approaches girl. She puts her hand on girl’s shoulder and girl jumps in fright. She runs away from RL and runs into masked Drug Dealer. She turns to see that all the other GMs are now masked and all the mask characters (MCs) begin to group together and move in on girl, who thinks she must be hallucinating. As they get closer she falls to the ground and tries to push them away. In desperation, she screams out in fear and runs to the other side of the stage. She looks back to the MCs: they are in a tight huddle and have leaned forward as a group, reaching their hands toward her to grab her. Girl looks around in fear and becomes increasingly dizzy. She passes out, and MCs put their hands down and start to walk away – their work is done.
SCENE 5 – THE BATTLE
1. Jesus, after hearing the scream, enters and sees girl lying on the ground. (For the first time he is noticed by the other characters.) He goes to help her but the MCs interfere. They now know their job is to get rid of Jesus so the girl can be theirs. MC #1 pushes Jesus away and MC #2 pushes back. Jesus swings around to see that he is now surrounded by the MCs. He is about to attack but they all jump on him and bring him down. They kick him until he is powerless.
2. The MCs bring on a cross and motion for the others to crucify him. (Or cross can be lowered if this is possible) They drag him over and get him to stand, punching and kicking him all the while. Jesus continually looks over to the girl, who is unconscious and unaware of anything around her. He struggles to get away but they pin him to the cross and ‘nail’ his hands. He is in agony, but they are jeering and spitting on him, and punching him until he can’t breathe. MC #1 brings on a sword and they pierce Jesus in the side.
BLACKOUT (simultaneous to the thrust of the sword)
SCENE 6 – THE RESURRECTION
1. Lights still off, a heartbeat sounds. Strobe FX, lights on and off, to reveal an empty cross, with MCs sprawled out across the floor, not moving. Slowly, one by one, MCs get up, dazed and confused. (Music build) As they realise the cross is empty they begin to accuse one another in panic. The panic increases until a light appears at the back of the hall.
2. (Music climax) Slowly, Jesus enters from the front entrance of the hall, with a bright light behind him – risen from the dead. At first the MCs cannot make out who it is until he gets a little closer, then shake in fear as he moves closer toward them. Jesus stops and looks at his hands, which bear the marks of the nails, and then looks to the MCs with an air of power and authority. He continues walking toward them.
3. The MCs part the way for Jesus to walk through them, not knowing what he will do. They slowly edge further away from him. He looks again at his hands, looks to them, and then suddenly, without warning, Jesus reaches his hand out to each one of them, as if powerfully pushing the air toward them, and knocks each of them over, dead.
4. When all MCs are dead, Jesus looks around, noticing the girl who is still collapsed in the corner. He goes over to her and lifts her up into his arms, and carries her off the stage.
© Kerrie Polkinghorne 2008, all rights reserved.